By: Susan Fleet
Publisher: Lulu Press, Inc.
Publishing Date: June 2011
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review Date: August 15, 2011
This novel is both extremely psychological and dangerous. Taking place in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, it follows the life of Belinda Scully, a multi-talented flutist who is at the top of her own luxurious world of concerts that now include international performances. Belinda has a very hard working manager, Jake, who does everything for her except cut her meat at meals and she is forever calling upon him for many things that she could easily do for herself. Jake and his partner are thinking of moving to New York City and this is sending Belinda into a real snit. There's no doubt that Belinda is truly a Diva.
While she is in London, performing at Royal Festival Hall, Belinda is approached by an admirer who will not leave her alone for a minute. She (being a Diva of the first order) simply puts him off and ignores him as he forces a business card toward her and advises her that she needs protection if she's going to be traveling for her music.
In another part of the story, Chantelle is a homeless teenager with a jazz musician boyfriend who has been dragged into a drug deal in which a policeman is shot and a woman hostage is killed. While investigating, New Orleans Police Detective Frank Renzi finds Chantelle and takes her to a home where she cannot be found by the drug dealers. Chantelle escapes from the home and goes back to her boyfriend, which was definitely not a good choice as the drug lord, AK-47, is looking for her to warn her not to say anything to the police. These two stories come together as Belinda is stalked by the man she meets in London and Chantelle is also on the radar of a vicious drug lord.
Frank Renzi gets involved with both women and he tries to protect Chantelle but she frustrates him at every turn. She is not a trusting soul, and you can't really blame her as she has no one except her boyfriend Antoine, who is also being chased by AK. Also, Frank is pulled into the stalking case and Belinda sets her sights on him as her savior, and she is not to be put off by anyone. The author brings these two stories of two very desperate women together as Frank tries to untangle all the whys and wherefores of the bodies that keep piling up and tries to prevent more deaths. The author brings it all together perfectly at the end to give readers an absolutely fascinating ending that will keep you glued to your chair.
Quill Says: Great character development by the author as persons of all levels of society are depicted very well. Music lovers will enjoy how thoroughly Fleet develops all specific things about the music world. Best of all, there is a really good story here - if you can call a stalker good - that will keep readers on their toes. Diva is a very suspenseful book!
For more information on Diva, please visit the author's website at: www.susanfleet.com